I’ve been employed in corporate sales for over a decade, and while it hasn’t provided much of a creative outlet, it’s put food on the table and money in the bank. Money I can use for—#1—investing in my writing platform.
1. Your Platform - With the rise of different options to publish a novel these days, it’s harder than ever to stand out in a crowded market. However, there are outlets that can help, like Bookbub.com (If you’re lucky enough to make their list), book blogging services, giveaways, fancy websites and other tools you can use to market your work—and they all cost money. Money you might not have if you quit your job to write your novel.
2. You Can’t Beat A Steady Paycheck – I’ve been writing for years, but feel as though I’ve finally woken up and figured out what I was supposed to do with myself after taking a long, stale, dreamless nap. But, I have to tell you—in all the years I’ve been writing, I haven’t made a single dollar doing it yet, and that's not out of the norm for many authors. My sales career, however, has afforded my husband and I free vacations, other corporate perks like a company-provided vehicle and substantial income. So, to that point, I say, if you can write and work a full-time job, you probably should, because everyone needs to eat, and there are no guarantees, and certainly no free lunches in the publishing industry.
3. The Ups Balance The Downs – Rejection in publishing is imminent, but if you’re largely successful in another area of your life, it will soften the blows when they arrive. I find that when I receive bad news in regard to my writing, there’s often something positive happening on the work end, and vice versa. Not only is this a positive thing, but I honestly don’t know what I’d do without my day job to balance it out.
4. It Helps Pass The Time – One thing is certain about publishing (unless you’ve decided to self-publish)—you will wait. Whether you are in the query trenches, or on submission, or waiting to hear back from a small press—you will wait. The one thing that is difficult about letting someone else handle and review your work is that you have absolutely no control over it once it leaves your hands. This is especially hard for me, because selling is what I do for a living. So, it’s refreshing that my day job is so transparent. When I send an e-mail, I get an immediate answer. Sales numbers come in every Monday, and I don’t have to wait six months to see if what I’ve done was effective. So, if you have another career to keep you busy, projects to work on, other things to keep you occupied, it makes the time go by so much faster.
5. You Do Have The Time – It drives me crazy when my friends and relatives say they wish they had the time to write a book. If you love something enough, you will make the time to do it. I travel for work every day, so I can’t tinker with manuscripts on my computer at a desk. Even though I have breaks in between my appointments, they aren’t conducive for creativity or drafting, so that leaves the evenings and weekends. I’ve always been a night owl, so after my kids go to bed, I have two choices: I can stay up and watch crappy television or I can write for two hours. I usually opt for writing. I also write on Sundays while my kids nap, and so far it’s worked out really well. You may have to swap out one activity for the next, but again, if you’re really passionate about writing, you’ll make the time for it.
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Author of women's fiction and domestic thrillers